“He exists because I say he exists.”
Our love for Scandal apparently knows no bounds because here’s yet another post where we critique and analyze it some more! We particularly love the many monologues delivered by the lovely actors and actresses of this show. These are some of our favorites.
1. Cyrus – 2×13 “Nobody Likes Babies”
I wasn’t made to be the Chief of Staff. Do you know what I was made to be? I was made to be the President of the United States. I was made to lead the nation. I was made to ensure this country’s place in the world for generations to come. I would’ve been great at that. I have the stones. I have backbone. I have the will. I would have been a great President. But guess what? I’m fairly short, and I’m not so pretty, and I really like having sex with men. So instead of being President of this land, that I love, I get to be the guy behind the President of the United States. And sure, I have power. I influence decisions. I help steer the country. But I’ll never be in the history books. My name will never be on an airport or a doctrine. Being the guy behind the guy is as far as my road goes.
Cyrus Beene is one of the most interesting characters on Scandal. Any man who hires a hit man to kill his husband in order to keep presidential election rigging a secret is, by definition, an interesting character. Especially when that character is beautifully portrayed by Jeff Perry (Meredith’s dad on Grey’s Anatomy).
Among the many monologues delivered by Cy, this one stands out the most – especially given the context of the scene. Cyrus demands that his husband James take off his clothes, to make sure he isn’t wearing a wire, and James requires the same of Cyrus. And so Cyrus stands both literally and metaphorically naked in front of his husband, as he bares his soul to him.
Do you know what I was made to be? I was made to be the President of the United States. I was made to lead the nation. It’s the biggest tragedy of Cyrus’ life – that he’ll never get to be President or even stand a chance at running for the position. And not because he’s not intellectually capable, but because of his looks and his sexuality – something the American public would never accept about their President.
2. Mellie – 2×12 “Truth or Consequences”
You’re supposed to hate the woman. Isn’t that the standard trope? The seductress, the slut, the tramp who led your man astray. And I do. I loathe Olivia Pope. But it’s a boring sort of hate. Uninteresting, cliche. It’s hard to even get my back into it. But… Fitz? I found him. I cleaned him up after that monster who raised him damaged his spirit. I am the one who told him he was someone. I am the one who cheered him on and listened to him ramble about his hopes and his dreams. I am the one who focused him. I did all the work. I did all the work and now she gets to reap the benefits? No. No, I made him. He exists because I say he exists.
The First Lady of the United States is certainly a force to be reckoned with. TV writers tend to favor the wife going after the Other Woman, rather than the husband who cheated. In this case, while Mellie (Bellamy Young) is no fan of the Other Woman, she appropriately directs most of her anger and rage at her husband because he’s the one that who made the oath of commitment to stay with her through thick and thin. He’s the one with the obligations, and he’s the one who left her – emotionally and physically – not Olivia Pope.
Without a doubt, if it weren’t for Mellie, Fitz would not be in the position that he is in now. He would not be President, or even consider the possibility of running for the presidency. And ironically enough, he would have never met Olivia Pope.
Mellie can tolerate the cheating, but for Fitz to throw divorce in her face – that’s the one thing she cannot handle.
3. Olivia and Fitz – 2×08 “Rose Garden”
Olivia: I smile at her and take off my clothes for you. I wait for you. I watch for you. My whole life is you. I can’t breathe because I’m waiting for you. You own me, you control me, I belong to you…
Fitz: You own me! You control me. I belong to you. You think I don’t want to be a better man? You think that I don’t want to dedicate myself to my marriage? You don’t think I want to be honorable? To be the man you voted for? I love you. I’m in love with you. You’re the love of my life. My every feeling is controlled by the look on your face. I can’t breathe without you. I can’t sleep without you. I wait for you, I watch for you. I exist for you. If I could escape all of this and run away with you? There’s no Sally and Thomas here. You’re nobody’s victim, Liv. I belong to you. We’re in this together.
“Olitz” is problematic for many, many, many reasons, but that doesn’t change the fact that this scene was chilling and deeply emotional. Both Kerry Washington and Tony Goldwyn bring their A-game to this scene. To us, it is a snapshot of exactly why they shouldn’t be together (although we know some people are definitely not going to agree with us on this or interpret that scene the same way we did).
It’s as Edison (Norm Lewis) says in a future episode: “Love is not supposed to be painful, or devastating. Love isn’t supposed to hurt, Liv.” While we’re definitely not on the Edison bandwagon (we haven’t been happy with any of Olivia’s love interests so far), he raises a very good point. However, Olivia is a tortured character who prefers masochism over the chance at a happy life with a different man. (Getting some Gossip Girl‘s Blair Waldorf vibes there.)
In the end, Alice Morgan from Luther said it best: “Love is supposed to dignify us, exalt us. How can it be love … if all it does is make us lonely and corrupt?”
4. Mellie – 2×13 “Nobody Likes Babies”
Cyrus, if Fitz goes public with this divorce, I will go nuclear. I will walk out in front of the press and I will explain to them that my marriage is over because while I was pregnant with his child, my husband was having an affair with Olivia Pope. I will leave him, and I will take his children with me. I will take every penny he has in the bank and every dollar of political capital that he has in this town. I will court feminist groups and mothers groups and religious groups. I will bury him. And I will dance on his grave. And then? I will run for office.
This is the monologue that gives the audience a firsthand look at the strong political animal that Mellie is and the lengths she will go to to get vengeance. If you stay on her good side, she can and will be a fierce, useful companion. But if you’re on her bad side, she will tear you apart due to her ‘take no prisoners’ attitude. The threats she levies against Cyrus are evidence of that, as is the way she threw him under the bus in the most recent episode so she could regain Fitz’s trust, all for her own political gain.
5. Cyrus – 1×04 “Enemy of the State”
What’s next? What’s next?
Okay, here’s what happens next: you resign from office now. Or Amanda goes on TV, tells her sad, sordid tale, there are hearings, you’re impeached, and you’re forced to resign from office.
Your Vice President, a moronic, right-wing nut job who thinks the tea party was founded to lower the yacht tax – and who also seems to not quite understand that evolution isn’t an idea, but an actual fact – but who cares? We won the scary states in the election. They’ll have a party, now that their Grand Wizard is President. I’m pretty sure I’ll never see a legal marriage and women will lose their right to choose, but hey, whatever. We’re all Republicans, even if the new president will give Republicans a bad name.
You’ll leave in disgrace, go home to California, keep a low profile for a while, and then some fancy publishing house will pay you a fortune for a book, which you’ll write, only it won’t talk about what everyone really wants to know about. It won’t talk about your sordid affair with a White House aide. It’ll talk about policy and your thoughts on the economy, and it won’t sell because no one cares about your thoughts on policy and the economy anymore because you’re not the President anymore. What you are now is a joke on “Letterman.”
Mellie, a lovely woman, ambitious and strong, and, well, quite wealthy in her own right, she’s not gonna be circa 1998 Hillary on this. No, sirree. This is the 21st century. She’s gonna leave you and she’s gonna take your children with her, and everyone will applaud her, from the Religious Right to the women’s groups, because you’re a philandering pig who had a child out of wedlock, and we all know it’s true because we heard the tape.
You’ll be alone in your house in Santa Barbara, listening to old records and telling the same story over and over again to the poor sap not smart enough to get out of being assigned to your secret service detail. Then one day, about, oh, three or four years from now, you’ll step into your bathroom, take out that revolver your father gave you when you were elected governor, you’ll put it in your mouth and you’ll blow the back of your skull off.
Oprah’s retired now, so I guess I have to do a post-funeral interview with Barbara Walters… She’s nice.
But, you know… You just go back to writing your own speech.
That’s important. That matters.
Cyrus Beene is one of the few people who can get away with talking like this to the President of the United States. When he’s done, Fitz is left speechless – probably thinking about the bleak future Cy has laid out for him – and Cyrus walks out of the room giggling like the magnificent bastard that he is.
Their relationship dynamic has changed drastically since Fitz found out about Defiance and election rigging; there is no longer any semblance of trust on Fitz’s end. In this season one episode, Fitz asks repeatedly for Cyrus’s help, and is confused when instead of offering the help he needed and expected, Cyrus laughs in his face. Nowadays, however, Fitz no longer wants Cyrus’ input, and the Chief of Staff is left out in the cold wondering where he went wrong.
6. Huck – 2×06 “Spies Like Us”
There’s this girl I like. Her name is… you know what, I’m not gonna tell you what her name is because you’re all like me. We shouldn’t know each other’s weaknesses. But, I like her. And she’s good. She doesn’t ask a lot of questions but I know her really well ’cause she’s normal. But she will never know me.
I’m a soldier. Technically, we are soldiers, we served our country. But nobody gets to know that, there’s no parade, there are no medals. So we come home and we try to have normal lives.
But what is normal? I really, really like killing people. It’s… beautiful. Right? They taught us to love it and they took it away and they left us with…
Melvin just wanted someone to know, he wanted to stop pretending to be something he wasn’t, he wanted to feel free, to feel… normal. And wouldn’t we all give anything to feel normal?
Melvin’s just… he’s one of us.
On a good day – and he hasn’t been having many ‘good’ days lately – Huck terrifies the living daylights out of us. He usually isn’t all that talkative, so this impromptu speech of his is uncharacteristic. Guillermo Diaz portrays this very well, showing Huck being initially nervous, as he stutters and repeats words – avoiding eye contact. But as he picks up steam, talking about something he truly believes in, his voice gets stronger and his back grows straighter.
This is a noteworthy monologue because Huck so rarely voices his own opinion. It’s a rare glimpse into Huck’s mind, and he’s finally able to speak his mind and openly talk about his addictions without judgement because he’s in a room full of people who relate to him. Even in AA he has to couch his confessions in the appropriate language, calling it “whiskey” and “drinking”.
Huck can understand their language, so to speak, and so he’s the only one who can potentially stop them from killing Melvin. This is why it hurts so badly when he fails to do so. He laid his soul out there, confessed his sins and asked for normalcy. Instead, he’s handed back proof that some people can’t (won’t) ever change.